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Incentives and the Sorting of Altruistic Agents into Street-Level Bureaucracies

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  • Margaretha Buurman

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Robert Dur

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Abstract

Many street-level bureaucrats (such as caseworkers) have the dual task of helping some clients, while sanctioning others. We develop a model of such a street-level bureaucracy and study the implications of its personnel policy on the self-selection and allocation decisions of agents who differ in altruism towards clients. When bureaucrats are paid flat wages, they do not sanction, and the most altruistic types sort into bureaucracy. Pay-for-performance induces some bureaucrats to sanction, but necessitates an increase in expected wage compensation, which can result in sorting from both the top and bottom of the altruism distribution. We also show how client composition affects sorting and why street-level bureaucrats often experience an overload of clients.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 08-113/1.

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Date of creation: 17 Nov 2008
Date of revision: 14 Oct 2010
Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20080113

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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

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Keywords: street-level bureaucracy; sorting; altruism; personnel policy; pay-for-performance;

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Cited by:
  1. Dur, Robert & Zoutenbier, Robin, 2014. "Intrinsic Motivations of Public Sector Employees: Evidence for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 8239, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Robert Dur & Robin Zoutenbier, 2012. "Intrinsic Motivations of Public Sector Employees: Evidence for Germany," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-135/VII, Tinbergen Institute, revised 02 Jun 2014.
  3. Robert Dur & Robin Zoutenbier, 2011. "Working for a Good Cause," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-168/1, Tinbergen Institute, revised 23 Apr 2013.
  4. Robert Dur & Robin Zoutenbier, 2011. "Working for a Good Cause," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-168/1, Tinbergen Institute, revised 23 Apr 2013.

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